By Gloria Nakajubi, Sandra Namiisi and Robert Atuhairwe
As the sun sets, three men in their early 20s take a section of students of Turkish Light Academy on Entebbe Road through the daily chores after classes. Others are being taken through remedial classes by another group of young men.
These volunteers, former students of the school, have one thing in common. They were bright, but could not afford school fees. They include formerly abandoned children, those from war-ravaged areas and orphans. God knows where they would be, had it not been for Turkish Light Academy sponsoring their education.
Students who scored Aggregate 4 and 5 can also access scholarships at Turkish Light Academy in S.1. They will be sponsored until they complete O’level.
The offer also goes for students who will get Aggregate 8 or 9 in the soon-to-be released S.4 results.
Students are offered full, half and quarter scholarships in S.1 and S.5, depending on how they perform in the interviews given by the school. The scholarships are 40 in number for both S.1 and S.5. Like Turkish Light Academy, several other schools and organisations offer scholarships.
St. Lawrence schools and colleges
Students who excel in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) are given scholarships for their entire O’level.
Elijah Male, the communications officer, explains that for schools in Kampala district, they consider those who have Aggregate 4 and 5. For upcountry schools, they consider Aggregate 6 and 7. This year, 250 underprivileged students will get full scholarships and 100 will get half bursaries.
St. Mary’s Secondary School, Kitende
The only category of bursaries that students joining S.1 can benefit from are for those with outstanding skills in any field of sports.
Academic bursaries are offered to continuing students who keep excelling.
Mandela Secondary School, Hoima
The school offers scholarships to all students, who scored Aggregate 4 and 5 in PLE.
The school also has six full bursaries every year for Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for students who have scored up to Aggregate 18.
MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme, BRAC
Candidates are assessed basing on mock and national examination results. The programme considers students who have passed in Division One and are from vulnerable groups. Sixty per cent of the scholarships are ring-fenced for girls. When a student is taken on in S.1, he is supported up to S.6.
After its launch last year, 613 scholars from 50 districts were assisted to join S.1 and S.5.
Beneficiaries receive school fees, uniforms, learning materials, transportation, accommodation and stipends, among other items.
Applications are dropped at the BRAC branch offices during second term holidays.
Forum for African Women Educationists Uganda (FAWEU)
This year, FAWEU, with a grant from the education ministry and the African Development Bank, will give out 125 scholarships to students joining S.5.
This is specifically for bright, but underprivileged students, both boys and girls. Documents required include; a handwritten application, a copy of Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) results, copies of two termly reports preceding UCE, a reference letter from the former head teacher and a letter from the student’s home area LC1 chairperson.
Each applicant must also provide a sketch map to his home from the nearest trading centre. The documents can be dropped at the FAWEU offices in Bukoto, Kampala.
Kabaka Education Fund
The fund is an initiative of Buganda kingdom. The kingdom’s education minister, Twaha Kigongo, says a number of schools offer bursaries to the kingdom, which are, in turn, passed on to the students.
Kigongo says they offer half and full bursaries to underprivileged students, adding that students must meet the requirements of a particular school. He notes that so far, there are over 150 scholarships available.
Students can pick application forms from the education offices at Mengo. Each form costs sh15,000. The completed application form must be returned with a photocopy of the student’s identity card from his former school.
Kabalega Education Fund
This is a project run by the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. The kingdom’s education minister, Harriet Businge, says they are targeting 300 learners.
She says this year, they are considering only underprivileged learners who got first grade in PLE. The kingdom educates them from S.1 to S.6. To get a scholarship, one writes to the education department, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, Hoima, with a copy of Uganda National Examination Board results slips. Applications are still being received.
Wanyana Ssematimba Foundation
A brain-child of Pastor Peter Ssematimba, this scholarship supports less privileged children from all walks of life, regardless of their academic performance.
He says many bright children are left out because they did not excel in examinations. He notes that the students sometimes fail due to the conditions in which they study.
Ssematimba says those who come early will get full bursaries. Late-comers will get half-bursaries.
Registration is done at Super FM offices. Students are expected to go with their PLE result slips or report cards and identity cards from their former schools. The deadline for registration was February 7, but you can try next year.
The number of available scholarships depends on the turnout.
Gold Heart Initiatives
This targets the underprivileged and school dropouts. This year, they want over 150 students joining S.1.
The director, Sheila Nvannungi, say they have partnered with schools in and around the city through which they secure a discount of up to half of the set school fees.
The applicant has to present a PLE result slip or report card from his former school at the Gold Heart Initiatives offices at Maulbudd Building, Mengo in Kampala. For other classes, a child has to present two passport photos and an identity card of the school.
Alina Bursaries and Scholarships
This also works in partnership with different schools to secure half bursaries for students. The requirements are a PLE pass slip, two passport size photos and a registration fee.
Registration is ongoing at St. Matia Mulumba Church in Old Kampala and is expected to last about two weeks. The number of available scholarships depends on the turnout.
If you have failed to get a scholarship and cannot pay fees in a private school, remember the Government offers free education at some of its secondary schools.
According to Francis Agula, the commissioner for government secondary schools, 168,060 students will be admitted under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme in Government-aided secondary schools, 138,360 in USE privately-owned schools, 3,240 in business and technical institutions and 21,870 in non-USE Government-aided secondary schools. A total of 2,500 private schools are expected to admit 150,000 students in S.1 this year.
Do you know any school, individual or organisation offering secondary or university scholarships? Write to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do a background check, and if genuine, have it published.